Sunday, 28 February 2021

Good Reads/Podcasts/Videos: February 2021

Where Gratitude Gets You - Hidden Brain podcast

This episode highlights the link between gratitude and emotions - the practice of gratitude affects our emotions, which in turn influence how you react to a certain situation.

This episode blew my mind a little - there are tones of articles out there highlighting the importance and benefits of practising gratitude, but none of them caught my attention like this podcast. This podcast made me realise how our emotions play such a big role in our actions, and also affects our self-control.

emotions are a mechanism to help us navigate the future, not just an accounting system to tabulate the past, that might explain why some emotions seem to help us do difficult things

emotions set our expectations for how we should react in any given situation we're in. And so simply by making people feel grateful, it alters the way their brain assigns value 

I don’t want friends who put others at risk’: has lockdown wrecked friendships? - The Guardian

I resonated so much with this article. Admittedly, the pandemic has put a strain on me, in terms of my relationship with others, and also my personal wellbeing. I was rather distraught when I saw friends & family gathering during festivals/holidays on social media,  

As much as I want to see some of my friends and family, I feel that there is a huge risk that I don't want to bear, and it is really not the time. I do miss hanging out with friends, and I don't like how I've started to judge others based on what I see on social media.

How to Spot a Foolproof Recipe - Life Hacker

This is an extremely helpful especially if you have been cooking/baking a lot and searching for recipes online :D 

Cooking/Baking something new can be intimidating - because you're essentially trying out something new and you won't know the outcome until you try. I feel dejected whenever I try a new recipe I try out didn't work out - I've not just wasted money on ingredients, but also my time and effort :< 

My three main takeaway from this article:

1. Every oven is unique, and you may have to adjust your "baking time"

2. Pay attention to the bakeware used in recipe (is it a metal bakeware? Glass? Ceramic?) - different bakeware affects how your food gets cooked in the oven.

3. Pay attention to the ingredients used in recipe - are they of a particular brand? Try to stick to that brand, if possible. The benefit of these "mass produced" ingredients are that the taste from these "mass produced" ingredients are typically consistent! 

I use a dark-coloured baking tray - and hence I notice my baking time may be shorter than the baking time stated in most recipes as dark colour absorb heat faster

Here’s why you need to have more bad ideas - TED

Instead of saying, “I’m stuck, I can’t come up with anything good,” it’s far more effective to say, “I’ve finished this, and now I need to make it better.” Or possibly “I finished this, and it can’t be made better, but now I’m ready to do the new thing, because look at all I’ve learned.” 
This is the story of every human innovation.
This is the story of every good idea, every new project, every pop song, every novel. 
There was a bad idea. And then there was a better one. 
If you want to complain that you don’t have any good ideas, please show me all your bad ideas first.

This article really hit me - because I do find myself beating myself up for coming up with "bad ideas" - but wait, where are the bad ideas? First, you've got to come out with bad ideas, then make improvement on the "bad ideas". 

Often time, I stop myself from doing something because I think it'll be bad - but without even trying, without even coming out with something, how do I know it's bad? I'm not even giving myself a chance to work on it, to improve it, to make it good. 

We’re a community of critics and tweakers and tinkerers. The reason is simple: It’s safer. People rarely criticize the critic. And beyond that, it’s not that hard to use sandpaper. It’s a lot more difficult to use a bandsaw, or even to use a pencil to draw the plans in the first place.

No one is keeping you from posting your video.

No one is keeping you from blogging every day.

No one is keeping you from hanging your artwork.

The only way to get through the steps is to do the steps.

You Need to Practice Being Your Future Self - HBR

"Here’s the key: You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts. In other words — and this is the hard part — if you want to be productive, you need to spend time doing things that feel ridiculously unproductive.

A question I hear a lot is: What about all the things I actually need to get done? Don’t I need to get through my cluttered email box, my pressing conversations, my project plans in order to create space to focus on my future self?


That’s a trick your busy self plays on you to keep you away from the scary stuff you’re not yet good at and that isn’t yet productive. Sometimes you need to be irresponsible with your current challenges in order to make real progress on your future self. You have to let the present just sit there, untended. It’s not going away and will never end. That’s the nature of the present."

I have to admit - I fall into this trap a lot. In order to avoid feeling "uncomfortable" doing task that I deem unfamiliar, I'd keep myself busy with menial tasks - which might create a false sense of productivity, and worse, not growing in my role.

Even writing this blog post feels really uncomfortable - I want to be able to articulate what I've learnt & read in articles and hence I'm writing this blog post, although it is taking up a lot of time and I feel as though I am engulfed in insecurities  

Here's to venturing out to do more things that feels uncomfortable.

There are 3 different types of burnout — these are the signs to look out for - CNBC

According to the article, the three types of burnout are: 

1. Burnout by volume - triggered when you're constantly being booked, back-to-back, having almost no time to yourself

2. Burnout by boredom - triggered by the feeling of boredom at work, when you don't feel challenged or when you're feeling uninspired

Didn't know this could be a thing and upon reflecting, I realised I did feel tired and worn out before because I feel as though I have nothing much too

3. Burnout by socialisation - triggered when you put others ahead of your needs too often

This article gave me a light bulb moment - I've experienced burnout when I wasn't dead busy and I was wondering why I felt tired and uninspired, seems like I had a case of burnout by boredom there! 

28 Mini Rules That Have Drastically Simplified My Life - The Financial Diet

Love this piece! Espeically 

1. No emails before a certain time / No emails after a certain atime 

5. Schedule 15 minutes of alone time every day 

12. Ask yourself these two questions

When you’re making tough choices and deciding what to do in a certain situation, ask yourself…

- What would my future self in five years decide?

- What is the end goal I want from this?


13. Create a list of three priorities for every day (do this the night before)


24. Refuse to indulge in “I don’t know” or being “stuck”

Instead of allowing yourself to sit in “I don’t know,” switch to “I’m figuring it out.” At least this gives you momentum. Like Wayne Dyer says, “You are not stuck unless you decide to be.”

Certainly want to try out some of this mini rules! Thinking of writing a blog post about my own mini rules hmm.  


That's it for the month of February! See you in March :P 

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